Your alarm goes off, you manage to get out of bed and you get your act together for work, only to be rewarded with…The Commute. Some of you may be members of that exclusive club for people who can walk to work in less than 10 minutes. I confess, I once belonged to that club. It was a nice time in my life filled with time to sleep in and go to the gym (mostly the first one). Now I can walk to the office in just under 30 minutes, which I acknowledge still isn’t too bad, but it’s enough extra time that I’ve had to start implementing some key strategies for making the journey a bit less annoying. Some of these tips are more suited to certain types of commutes than others, but get creative and your twice-a-day treks don’t have to be something you dread:
Consider podcasts. I can’t emphasize this one enough. You’ve likely heard of Serial by now, and yes it was amazing, but after I burned through that one I was pleasantly surprised to discover plenty of other podcasts out there, too. Who knew? I guess a lot of people. But do some digging, and you can discover a podcast for just about every interest. My personal favorites are TED Radio Hour and The B.S. Report with Bill Simmons. Bonus: there’s your small talk for when you’re killing time waiting for everyone to join a conference call later in the day.
Try a bike. More and more cities are launching bike share programs aimed at minimizing the number of cars on the roads and encouraging a healthy mode of transportation. Why not be one of the patrons for such a noble pursuit? Granted, this is less feasible in the colder months (we’re in Boston, so we feel that pain), but if the climate allows, it’s a great way to get energized early in the day.
Mix up your routes. For those who have at least a brief walking segment, even the slightest tweak in your usual path is a nice way to spice things up. This tactic has led me to restaurants, parks and bars I may otherwise never have found.
Pay for Spotify. I promise you, the premium tier is worth that $10 a month. You get to listen to any of Spotify’s available tracks on your phone, as well as save them to be available offline for when your train goes underground, and the “discover” feature that points you in the direction of artists similar to those you’ve already listened to is a solid time killer.
Bring your breakfast. A longer commute means waking up earlier, and for those of us that aren’t natural early risers, taking extra time for breakfast is often low on the list of morning priorities. If you really want to go all out, invest in a juicer or blender and step up your smoothie game, but even a really good granola bar is a nice perk to indulge in before arriving at your desk.